Swedish Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Newsletter No 16, 20 March 2013
This newsletter is published by the Action Group at the Royal Institute of Technology for Boycott of Israel in collaboration with BDS Sweden. It provides information not only about academic and cultural boycott but also about BDS in general in Sweden and internationally. The address of our website has changed into http://psabi.se/. Here you can find old issues of the newsletter. Also check the website of the network Isolera Israel Sweden http://isoleraisrael.nu/.
■ Rector of KTH asked not to extend its collaboration with Technion
In a letter to the Vice-Chancellor of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) the Action group for academic boycott of Israel demands that the long-term agreement between KTH and Technion be cancelled rather than extended. Reference is given to the fact that the agreement violates the ethical policy of the university and supports the occupation. Read more (in Swedish): http://psabi.se/?p=47.
■ KTH Ethical Committee revises its policy without consultation
In a letter to the Ethical committee of KTH Prof. Jan-Erik Gustafsson repeats the request by the Action group since three years back to get an appointment for a discussion on how to apply the ethical policy to collaboration with Israel. The letter also asks on what basis the ethical policy is revised to exclude formulations about “peaceful development” from the policy. No consultation has been carried out with staff or students at the university!
■ Israel Apartheid Week in Sweden
In Stockholm a public discussion was arranged the 19th of March between representatives of the Palestine Solidarity organisation PGS, the Action Group at KTH for Bocyott of Israel, the Green and Left parties, and journalist Donald Boström. The event attracted 35 persons. Later in the week an action is planned outside the Parliament building, illustrating checkpoints similar to the ones in Palestine. In Uppsala IAW was manifested by showing the film RoadMap to Apartheid, Hiphop street music and a slide show from Palestine. In Malmö public actions were carried out.
■ Successful Palestinian film festival in Stockholm
On the 10th of March the Palestine Solidarity organization PGS, together with others, arranged a film festival, showing Five Broken Cameras, Roadmap to Apartheid and Israel vs Israel. The event attracted 80 persons. It was combined with speeches on BDS, Ship to Gaza and Palestinian food.
■ SodaStream boycott heating up
A special website has been set up for the boycott of SodaStream carbonation devices. In an appeal it is stated that Christians, Muslims, Jews, and other people of conscience call on all consumers and stores to stop buying and selling SodaStream or other products manufactured in illegal settlement. Read more: http://www.sodastreamboycott.org/. Sign the petition here: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/641/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=12341.
■ Veolia suffers damage due to Palestine campaigners
For years the French Veolia company has tried to downplay the effect of the BDS campaigns, but now a top Norwegian financial advisor has boldly acknowledged the impact of the BDS movement.
Read more: http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/adri-nieuwhof/veolia-suffering-expensive-damage-due-palestine-campaigners-publicity-says.
■ Finish government criticised for violating its own principles on arms trade
According to Finish law arms trade is not allowed with countries that violate human rights. Despite this Finland collaborates with Elbit, the biggest arms producer in Israel. No critique was levelled at Israel’s violation of international law when extreme nationalist foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman visited Finland last autumn, writes Johannes Hautaviita and Jemina Heinonen of the Finish branch of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. Read more (in Swedish): http://icahd.fi/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/hblvol2.png.
■ Netherlands calls on stores to label products from Israeli settlements
The Dutch government has for the first time called for retail chains in the Netherlands to state the origin of products from West Bank settlements, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. This makes the Netherlands the second country in the EU, after Britain, to ask retail chains to mark products made in areas beyond the 1949 ceasefire line. Read more: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/166004#.UUnYlVdj8pk.
■ US Riverside campus passes divestment measure as Stanford rejects the same
While a pro-divestment measure failed to pass at Stanford University, a similar call won out at the University of California, Riverside. Read more: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/03/california-riverside-divestment.html.
■ EU consuls recommend sanctions on Israeli settlements
The EU consuls general in East Jerusalem and Ramallah recommend sanctions against settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the construction of the settlements is considered to endanger a two-state solution. Read more: http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2013/02/countries/israel/eu-consuls-recommend-imposing-sanctions-on-israeli-settlements. Commenting on this report the International Solidarity Movement writes: “A step in the right direction, but not enough. Suspend all trade agreements!” Read more: http://palsolidarity.org/2013/02/a-step-in-the-right-direction-as-eu-consuls-urge-sanctions-against-settlements-we-call-for-the-suspension-of-all-trade-agreements/.
■ Roundup of news from the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement
The Palestinian BDS movement recently summarized the latest victories :
Future clients of pension fund giant TIAA-CREF call for divestment from companies profiting from Israel’s occupation;
Shuggie Otis cancels Tel Aviv performance while activists call on Alicia Keys and Depeche Mode do the same;
Queen Mary, University of London students union votes to boycott G4S and Veolia;
Veolia’s bid for street cleaning contract is withdrawn in Liverpool;
London solidarity protest with Hebron includes BDS de-shelving action;
Palestinian BDS National Committee statement on boycott of individuals; and much more.
Read more: https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#label/BDS/13d2ae112553f780.
■ Book ‘Generation Palestine Voices from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement’
“When governments and international bodies cannot be relied upon to defend humanity, it is the role of us, the people, to lead the struggle for justice. Generation Palestine is essential reading for all who believe in changing this world for the better”, writes Stephane Hessel, a concentration camp survivor, former French resistance fighter, and editor of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He died in the first week of March. Order the book: http://www.plutobooks.com/display.asp?K=9780745332437&.
■ Israel must withdraw all settlers or face ICC, says UN report
Israel must withdraw all settlers from the West Bank or potentially face a case at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for serious violations of international law, says a report by a UN Human Rights Council. Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/31/israel-must-withdraw-settlers-icc.
The Action group at KTH for boycott of Israel, http://psabi.se/
Member of the coordination committee of BDS Sweden, http://isoleraisrael.nu